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Dolphins hold off Saints, then focus on Frances

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Dolphins hold off Saints, then focus on Frances Saturday, September 04, 2004 By Jeff Duncan The NFL forced the Saints and Miami Dolphins to play their scheduled exhibition game Friday night. Its reason: To preserve "the integrity of preseason football." ...

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Old 09-04-2004, 05:52 PM   #1
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Dolphins hold off Saints, then focus on Frances

Dolphins hold off Saints, then focus on Frances

Saturday, September 04, 2004
By Jeff Duncan

The NFL forced the Saints and Miami Dolphins to play their scheduled exhibition game Friday night. Its reason: To preserve "the integrity of preseason football."

Unfortunately, other than an inspired comeback try by Saints reserve quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan in the fourth quarter, there wasn't much integrity in the half-hearted contest the teams waged before a half-interested crowd in a half-full Superdome.


The Dolphins, who had to quell a near insurgency by players who threatened to boycott the game, at least made the trip worthwhile, taking a 20-19 victory back home with them to hurricane-threatened south Florida.

But with Hurricane Frances bearing down on the south Florida coast, the visitors weren't celebrating afterward. Facing an uncertain flight home, their minds were elsewhere.

"Some of the young guys wanted to play and get an opportunity to make a team," said Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor, one of eight Miami defensive starters who didn't play. "There's more to life than football. It's a shame that we understand that and some people don't."

Miami traveled to New Orleans on Friday without nine players who remained in Miami for various reasons. Of the Dolphins who made the trip, few regulars participated other than in cameo roles.

"I told our players that I was pleased with everything we had going on," Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt said. "We should be back in south Florida, yet our guys are able to come up here and focus on this football game and go out and perform and give the effort that they did tonight."

Even some Saints admitted that they would have understood if the game was canceled.

"It hits home to me because I live in Miami, so my mind is also focused on my home and my family there, just like many of the Dolphins," Saints running back Ki-Jana Carter said.

As it was, Miami emerged victorious only after O'Sullivan's potential go-ahead two-point conversion pass to Zachary Hilton took the 6-foot-8 tight end out of bounds inside the final two minutes. The Saints pulled within a point on O'Sullivan's 6-yard touchdown pass to Michael Lewis, a play that capped their one significant scoring drive in 13 offensive possessions.

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